The Best Bottles of Glenfiddich Whisky for Every Occasion


Glenfiddich is the best-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand in the world but which of their whiskies are the best and for which occasions. In order to find out I did some (enjoyable) research and here’s what I found.

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Best For Flavor: Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

The 21 Year Old is the best Glenfiddich whisky when it comes to flavor. That’s because it’s the expression where the Glenfiddich profile is at its most flavorful. To better explain what I mean, here are the nine main Glenfiddich whiskies and what they’re like in terms of flavor.

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

This is a non-complex, simple and easy to drink whisky with your standard Glenfiddich apple and pear flavors.

Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old

This whisky is somewhat more flavorful than the 12, partly because of the extra two years of aging and partly because it’s finished in charred new American Oak barrels which adds sweeter, more bourbon-like notes of caramel and vanilla to the Glenfiddich flavor profile.

Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

Although still not that complex, three more years of aging than the 12 makes this whisky a more flavorful version of the Glenfiddich flavor profile.

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

With six more years of aging than the 12 and three more years of aging than the 15, the flavors in the 18 are far more prevalent.

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

The Glenfiddich 21 Year Old is very flavorful. It’s light and sweet and its age gives it a smooth character. It’s the Glenfiddich profile at its most flavorful.

Glenfiddich Project XX

This is a fairly complex whisky with a higher ABV than the others which gives it an extra richness of fruits and caramel.

Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask

This Glenfiddich was finished in craft India Pale Ale barrels to give it hoppy flavors, so it’s a lighter whisky with the standard Glenfiddich notes and a citrus freshness.

Glenfiddich Winter Storm

This whisky is aged for at least 21 years so it’s relatively complex and quite flavorful. It’s finished for up to six months in ice wine casks which gives it some wine influence.

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

This is a fresh, fruity and super sweet whisky for two reasons. First because it’s a peated whisky – sweet peat and not medicinal peat, and second because it’s finished for about three months in Latin rum casks.

As you can see, the longer Glenfiddich is matured the more flavorful it becomes. Since the 21 Year Old is aged the longest it’s therefore the most flavorful Glenfiddich whisky. Glenfiddich Winter Storm is also aged for 21 years and is therefore also very flavorful but because of the ice wine influence it’s not the pure Glenfiddich flavor profile, so it has to take second place to the 21, which is the best Glenfiddich whisky when it comes to flavor.

For more information on these whiskies, see my in-depth review of them here.

Best For Price: Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

The 12 Year Old is the best Glenfiddich whisky when it comes to price. To help me explain why that is, here’s a list of the nine main Glenfiddich whiskies and their approximate prices for a 750ml bottle:

WhiskyPrice
Glenfiddich 12 Year Old$50
Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old$59
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old$73
Glenfiddich 18 Year Old$118
Glenfiddich 21 Year Old$210
Glenfiddich Project XX$80
Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask$70
Glenfiddich Winter Storm$285
Glenfiddich Fire & Cane$55

Obviously it would have been better if the best Glenfiddich whisky for flavor would also have been the best Glenfiddich whisky for price, however, as you can see from the table above, that’s far from being the case. Although not quite the most expensive Glenfiddich whisky, the 21 is still very expensive for what it is. As is the Winter Storm which is the most expensive Glenfiddich whisky.

The 18 and the 15 are much more affordable in comparison and while still quite expensive for what they are, may be your best bet for a more flavorful Glenfiddich whisky before the gap between value and price becomes too big for most people.

The price of the Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old, Project XX, India Pale Ale Cask and Fire & Cane are good but only as long as you like / prefer the bourbon, IPA and peat flavors that they have.

Which is why I think that the Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is best when it comes to price. It may be a less matured version of the Glenfiddich flavor profile but it’s still a good whisky with a decent amount of flavors and a relatively low price for what it is.

Best For Bourbon Flavors: Glenfiddich 14 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old

The Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old is the best Glenfiddich whisky for bourbon flavors.

That’s because as well as being matured in ex-bourbon American Oak casks like the other Glenfiddich expressions, it’s also finished in new charred American Oak casks – which is how bourbon is matured. That’s why this whisky has sweeter, more bourbon-like notes of caramel and vanilla, which complements the classic Glenfiddich flavors of apple and pear.

If you like the Glenfiddich flavor profile and you like bourbon, then the Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old will be the best Glenfiddich whisky for you.

Best For IPA Flavors: Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask

A bottle of Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask

The Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask is the best Glenfiddich whisky for IPA flavors.

That’s because it’s finished in craft India Pale Ale barrels – an India Pale Ale craft beer was specifically created to imbue these casks with hoppy flavors. That’s why this is a lighter whisky with the standard Glenfiddich notes and a citrus freshness.

If you like the Glenfiddich flavor profile and you like IPAs, then the Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask will be the best Glenfiddich whisky for you.

Best For Peat Flavors: Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

A bottle of Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

The Glenfiddich Fire & Cane is the best Glenfiddich whisky for peat flavors.

That’s because it’s a peated whisky. However, it’s not an intense Islay peat monster because it’s only lightly peated and because the peat used is a sweeter peat and not the more medicinal peat found in most peated whiskies. It’s also because this whisky is finished in rum casks which amplifies its sweetness.

If you like Glenfiddich and you like sweet peat or you want to try peated Scotches but don’t want to start with an intense Islay peat monster, then the Glenfiddich Fire & Cane will be the best Glenfiddich whisky for you.

Best For Being Unique: Glenfiddich Project XX

A bottle of Glenfiddich Project XX

Glenfiddich Project XX is the best Glenfiddich whisky if you’re looking for something unique.

That’s because of how it’s made. Twenty (hence the name) whisky experts chose twenty casks for the Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman to make something ‘nice’ with – and he could use only those barrels.

And it is ‘nice’. As mentioned above, it’s fairly complex and flavorful, and I can’t help thinking it’s pretty amazing that something this good was made out of almost random haphazardness.

If you like Glenfiddich and you want something unique, then Glenfiddich Project XX will be the best Glenfiddich whisky for you.

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Josh Mitchell

I'm Josh Mitchell. I love whiskey and am working on increasing my whiskey tasting abilities and my collection.

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